Anybody rich yet? | Arkansas Blog

Monday, September 28, 2009

Anybody rich yet?

Posted By on Mon, Sep 28, 2009 at 6:15 AM

John Lyon photo

John Lyon was among the gaggle of reporters who observed the midnight hour at a WLR convenience store to watch Higher Ed Director Jim Purcell buy the first lottery ticket. He bought five $2 scratch-off tickets. I can't find a report that reveals whether he won anything.

UPDATE: Purcell said he didn't scratch off his tickets. He said he bought them to frame as souvenirs of the scholarship program. However, he said he might check if the $20,000 top prize in the games he played goes unclaimed. He reports that regular lottery players, not just officials and media, were lined up for tickets at midnight when sales opened.

UPDATE: The father of the Arkansas lottery congratulates himself.

STATEMENT FROM BILL HALTER

Today culminates the end of a three-year effort to bring a Scholarship Lottery to Arkansas.  More important, today marks the beginning of a significant new funding source for college scholarships in a state that ranks 49th nationally in the percentage of adults who have a bachelor’s degree.
 
Tens of thousands of graduating high school seniors, as well as non-traditional adult students, will soon have an opportunity to pursue a higher education on lottery-funded scholarships awarded solely on merit and without regard to family income.  The Arkansas Department of Higher Education expects to start accepting applications in January for lottery-funded scholarships to any accredited 2-year or 4-year, public or private college and university in Arkansas.
 
As part of my campaign for Lieutenant Governor in 2006, I made a commitment to provide Arkansas voters the opportunity for a yes-or-no vote on a constitutional amendment authorizing a state lottery with all net proceeds dedicated to college scholarships.  Thanks largely to the philanthropy of the John Bailey family, a ballot-issue campaign titled HOPE for Arkansas succeeded in qualifying the Scholarship Lottery Amendment for the November 2008 General Election.  Arkansas voters approved the amendment by a nearly 2-to-1 margin.
 
Today, Arkansans are purchasing lottery tickets at retail locations on our side of the border rather than across the state line in Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.  Everyone hopes to scratch off a prize but even those who don’t will know that the tickets they buy will help build a scholarship program for Arkansas citizens.  Net proceeds from the Scholarship Lottery should triple the amount of state-funded scholarships available annually for Arkansas students and families.
 
Over time, I am confident that this new Scholarship Lottery Program will significantly expand job opportunities and raise incomes in Arkansas.  The link between a higher education and a higher per capita income is an undeniable fact.  I look forward to a time when all Arkansans who work hard and play by the rules will have the opportunity for a higher education.  Today’s launch of the Scholarship Lottery puts us one step closer to achieving that dream.

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (13)

Showing 1-13 of 13

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-13 of 13

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • LR speakers blast state board for double standard

    A series of speakers, beginning with Sen. Joyce Elliott, denounced what they saw as a hidden agenda favoring charter schools at the state Department of Education and asked the state Board of Education for return of local control.
    • May 12, 2016
  • Kenneth Starr: A comment from Betsey Wright

    Betsey Wright, former President Bill Clinton's chief of staff when he was Arkansas governor, responds bitterly to a New York Times article today quoting Whitewater Prosecutor Kenneth Starr's warm words about Clinton. She can't forget the lives Starr ruined in Arkansas.
    • May 24, 2016
  • The long and winding road: No exception yet for 30 Crossing

    The Arkansas highway department's representative on the Metroplan board of directors told the board today that the department is requesting an exception to the planning agency's cap on six lanes for its 30 Crossing project to widen Interstate 30 from six to 10 (and more) lanes.
    • Jun 29, 2016

Most Shared

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation